Minutes of Lymm RFC Ltd AGM – 23rd May 2019

  Present

Mike Adams

Kerry Anderson

Steve Ashall

Chris Askew

Pete Baldwin

Bev Bealing

Aimee Cartwright

Colette Cartwright

John Cartwright

Jonny Cartwright

Lionel Cockayne

Alan Cummins

Len Davies

Dave Dickinson

Alan Gibson

Tony Halford

Mark Hesketh

Will Hind

John Hopkinson

Tom Hyland

Rick Johnson

Neil Kelly

Sharon Kelly

Jim Knowles

Andy Leach

David Linton

Danny McNicholl

Dave Newton

Kate Newton

Simon Plumb

Malcolm Pritchard

Paul Rigby

Steve Rule

Rob Sparkes

Alan Wilkinson

Tony Wright

Apologies

Neil Allen

Pete Cornelia

Welcome and Introduction

Rick Johnson opened the meeting by welcoming the attendees to what was the 2nd AGM of Lymm RFC Ltd.

Previous Minutes

The minutes from the previous AGM were accepted. (Proposed by Chris Askew, seconded by David Dickinson)

Chairman’s Report (John Cartwright)

Chairman John Cartwright gave the following report:

‘Ladies and Gentlemen,

‘Welcome to the Lymm RFC Annual General Meeting for season 2018/19. Following my usual form I want to start my AGM report by once again offering my personal thanks to all our volunteers, sponsors and members who have supported the club throughout the past year. The commitment shown by this dedicated group of members is incredible and given the level of demand we have seen this year across all aspects of our activities, their support was never more needed and gratefully received.

‘As I have stated on many occasions, being part of a members’ club is not a one way agreement, as members we have to give and take in equal measure if we are to guarantee long term success. Over the past year we have seen many new faces across all areas of our membership become engaged with our activities and they are helping to ensure our long-term sustainability. I believe we have started to answer the question we raised at last years AGM regarding what we will look like in the future – but there is still much more work for us to do, so I once again ask you to help bring new members in to the club who have an interest in developing a fantastic community asset for Lymm and the surrounding areas.

‘For the record, I would now like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of a number of groups of volunteers, whilst as always running the risk of missing someone out, so my apologies if I do.

  • ‘Thank you to our Executive Committee who have once again worked tirelessly over the past 12 months in supporting the effective running of our club and supporting me in my role as Chairman. Of note here I would like to thank Dave Linton for his commitment to our “Commercial” activities which are developing well; to Rick Johnson for taking over the role of Secretary and to the new section leads who provide an important link between the executive committee and the membership; and to Kate Yeomans who joined the team in January – more about Kate later. But finally I would like to thank Alan Gibson who took over from me as Treasurer 6 years ago and has done a stirling job through some very challenging times. Alan will be stepping down from his role this year – thank you Alan for all of your support.

  • ‘Thank you to Rick Condo and his staff who have once again served and supported our members and guests at a great many different events within the club house, the halfway house and the Marquee during the summer events.

  • ‘Thank you to our Old Forkers, ably led by Jim Knowles, who have once again managed to keep our pitches in excellent form. As you may know Jim has formally retired from his role as Head Forker – words cannot express the respect I have for Jim and the commitment he has shown to our club over 50+ years. He is the ultimate “Member” of a members club!

  • ‘Thank you to all our sponsors who continue to provide a much needed income stream, without your invaluable support we would not be able to achieve everything we do achieve. The Dental Academy were our main kit sponsor last year and will continue as our main sponsor next season, it is great to see their logo on kit at all age groups. – Thank you to the Dental Academy and all of our sponsors!

  • ‘Thank you to all our volunteers who give up their time to support and manage the club. Individually this group is too numerous to mention but you are a fantastic group of people please continue to support the club in the way that you do. This year we see the retirement of Tommy “the odl ijut” Hyland and Dave Dickinson who step down from their roles on the gate, and Alan Cummins who has been the face of Lymm RFC for the referees and officials who come to Lymm RFC. Thank you all for your commitment to our cause.

  • ‘Thank you to our playing membership, to all players who turned out to represent our teams; Senior 15-a-side rugby – 3 teams throughout the year, with 4 at the start of the season – which is amazing when many clubs we meet in our 1st team games are struggling to field 2 senior sides, all our M&J Rugby teams, players from Touch Rugby section, our squash players and our Hockey players – well done to each and every player who has turned out for their respective team. Sportsmanship and the playing of sport remain at the very heart or what we are all about. Growing our playing membership in all areas is critical to our future success. Playing sport from Beechwood is fundamentally what we are about so any ideas you have with regards to increasing participation please do let us know.

  • ‘Once again thank you to Adam Fletcher and the coaching/playing management and player care staff at all levels, without your continued support for the players we wouldn’t have such a successful playing record.

  • ‘Thank you to our non-playing membership; Honorary’s, Life-members, VP’s, social members and all our partner members. Thank you for your continued support off the pitch, on the touch line, in the bar or at one or more of our social events

  • ‘Thank you to the wives/partners and Girl Friends of all players/volunteers – an often forgotten group within our membership and I hope one where we will see a growth in their presence at the club. Your support for your husbands, partners and boyfriends is a factor very often missed, but is essential to our success. This year I have seen a growing number of player partners coming to matches to watch the games and in to the club house to enjoy the social aspects of our club – this is an encouraging sign.

  • ‘And thank you once again to my wife and my family for their support and patience – without which I would not be able to undertake my role as Chairman of Lymm Rugby Club.

‘I hope I have not forgotten any specific individuals or groups and thank you to each and every one of you!

 ‘RFU Volunteers Awards – Last season we had 3 nominations into the RFU/Mitsubishi Volunteer of the Year awards. These were Tommy Hyland, Paul Rigby and my wife Colette Cartwright. At the awards dinner and ceremony in April all of our nominees were given the due respect that they deserved and I am pleased to say that Colette was awarded “Volunteer of the Year” – in the Community Engagement category. This award recognises the commitment that Colette demonstrates in organising the Ladies Lunch as part of our Summer Events. This event raises significant contribution to all the schools in Lymm and the Rugby Club.

‘I would now like to draw out a few highlights of 2018/19 which hopefully are relevant and will be of interest; Rugby – Once again playing in the Northern Division, we have experienced a bit of a roller coaster season, influenced primarily by a significant number of serious injuries to key players. The outcome of our season was only decided in the penultimate game. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the match in person but I was treated to a running commentary over the phone for the last 3 minutes of the game by Danny McNicholl, and was able to join in with the final whistle celebrations albeit 200 plus miles away for the action. I will leave it to Adam and Will Hind to fill in the detail of the15 aside Rugby action across the age groups.

‘Summer Events – In 2018 we once again held a series of social events in a Marquee on Pitch 1. These events enabled us to generate a surplus of circa £30,000 to invest in our capital projects and included;

  • Sportsman’s Dinner

  • Summer Ball

  • Ladies Lunch

  • Vaudeville evening

  • M&J Awards day

  • … and a number of Corporate events

‘A very big thank you once again to David Newton, Colette Cartwright, Simon Plumb, Mal Pritchard and all the other volunteers who helped to make the 2018 summer events such a great success.

‘We are currently well under way with planning for the 2019 Marquee events which are due to commence on 14th June. This year we have;

  • 14th June – Ladies Lunch

  • 15th June – Deloitte Family Day

  • 15th June – Vaudeville

  • 20th June – Sportsman’s Dinner

  • 21st June – Lymm RFC BBQ and Rodeo

  • 22nd June – Deloitte Staff Summer Ball

‘Managing these events involves a lot of people and a lot of hard work. If you would like to be involved in the Summer Events please let me know, we are always looking for new volunteers. We would really welcome your help on Sunday 23rd June if you are available. We use this day to move our equipment from the marquee to the club house in preparation for the Marquee being removed.

‘I would highlight the Lymm RFU BBQ and Rodeo on 21st June. This is a new event and replaces our PPOTP for this year. Phil Carroll – a new Volunteer – has taken up the reigns and is leading on this event. This is a different type of event than the PPOTP and we are hoping to attract a wide cross section of the club membership to enjoy a posh BBQ, live band and the chance to ride the wildest bronco’s in Lymm.

‘Panto 2018 – Once again Simon, Hesky and the cast put on a fantastic Panto – “Sin de Rella” – which raised a fantastic amount of much needed revenue, circa £27,000 for club funds. Many thanks to everybody involved for such a great effort. Long may it continue!

‘Club House Development Activities – Repeating my opening line on this subject from last years AGM – “It has taken a significantly longer period of time to finalise our planning application for the development of Beechwood than we expected”, well hopefully we are now there and have a start date for the development of our AGP.

‘It is difficult to explain the amount of effort that many individuals have put into getting where we are today, but it has been significant. It has taken 2 years and 3 months to get to this current position but we can now look forwards to the creation of our new AGP and then the development of a new club house.

‘The continued hard work of a few dedicated people has been critical to getting to critical point with our development plans and I would like to once again place on record my personal thanks and thanks on behalf of the executive and membership for their continued hard work over the past 12 months – especially to Dave Simpson, Dave Newton and Andy Leach.

‘Our Vision and ambition is to see a sustainable rugby club here at Beechwood, a club that is at the very centre of our community and that is seen as a key contributor to the development of sport and other community related activities on a long term basis, is as strong as ever. We continue to do this in many ways and there is continued acknowledgement of the positive contribution that we do make to our local community here in Lymm and to the wider Rugby community by way of the example we provide to other clubs in the UK and further afield.

‘You may have noticed the new coat of paint on the walls as you came into the club tonight. The executive committee agreed to an investment in improving our current facilities in the short term to ensure we can provide a good experience to our members and visitors alike. Over the summer we will be replacing the carpets throughout the club and making sure we have relevant posters, pictures and memorabilia on the walls to give the club an appealing and friendly look. This investment is being made through matched funding with the RFF.

‘We now have a fantastic opportunity to continue the positive progress of Lymm Rugby Club but it will require a lot more hard work, commitment and focus. I thank you all for your continued support in this respect but would emphasise the opening point that I made tonight regarding the development and increase in engagement with a wider and growing membership that actively engages and supports the development of their club.

‘As committed members and volunteers your help is needed more than ever to encourage others to take up the challenge and get involved.’

Treasurer’s Update (Alan Gibson)

Alan Gibson noted that a written report was available and asked Andy Leach, who had prepared it, to present it to the meeting. Andy went through the report which read, ‘In the year to 30 June 2018, Lymm Rugby Club comprised the following 4 entities:

Lymm RFC Limited (“LRL”)

A company limited by guarantee with charitable status. Effective 1 July 2017, LRL took over the rugby playing activities and related assets.

Lymm Beechwood Limited (“LBL”)

A wholly-owned subsidiary of LRL, LBL took over the commercial activities (clubhouse, bar, events). Each year, LBL will “donate” the whole surplus generated from its commercial activities to LRL

Lymm Garden Limited (“LGL”)

A wholly-owned subsidiary of LRL, LGL is presently dormant. LGL was established for potential property development purposes.

Lymm Rugby Club (“the Club”)

The original trust, which transferred its commercial activities to LBL in June 2017, and its rugby related activities and assets to LRL in July 2018. The Club retained its property assets until November 2018 when they too were transferred to LRL. From this point the Club has ceased to have any function.

Notes to the accounts as presented to members at the meeting:

a          The bar surplus comprised income of £104,581 and costs of £58,562, a gross margin of 44%.

b          Panto income was £24,561 with minimal costs of £1,904.

c          Summer events income was £142,892 with costs of £119,118.

d          Food costs were £24,521 offset by income, mainly from the M&Js, of £16,545

Notwithstanding that a small surplus resulted, throughout this period and beyond we have continued to fund costs associated with our Development Project. These costs are capitalised within the cost of our property assets, In the year to June 2018, £15,199 of such costs were incurred and paid for from our cash resources. As much, if not more, will be expended in the year to June 2019.

Consequently, cash and cash flow remain our greatest challenges and need careful micro management throughout the year. There are times during the season when this is more comfortable than others. This period between the end of the season and the Summer Events is arguably the most challenging and will require considerable dexterity to navigate!

For the past 18 months, Voisey & Co have been helping us in bookkeeping, preparing accounts, Vat returns, ensuring we comply with Charities legislation and generally keep on the straight and narrow. There assistance has been invaluable and greatly appreciated – our sincere thanks go to Lee, Janine and Hayley at Voiseys for the help they have given us over this period. Whilst our relationship with Voiseys will be retained going forward, we took the decision in the winter to recruit our own Finance Manager to take on the detailed work and to assist us in improving our own systems and processes to make the finance function more responsive with better control and visibility over our increasingly complex finances and operations. We felt that especially with the Development Project now in the starting blocks, this would be imperative.

We’re delighted that Kate Yeomans has joined us in this role. As a qualified accountant who lives in Lymm with sons playing in our M&Js, this was the dream appointment – for whom, you can decide! A few months into the job and I’m sure that Kate has now recognised the scale of the task that she has taken on, but thankfully she still has a smile on her face. She is already making a difference – we are rebanking most of our accounts to Handlesbanken so that we can move to electronic banking; she is involved in our project to introduce a new till system; has been looking at our membership fee rates; sorting out our Gift Aid mechanisms and much much more. So please give Kate your support – she has quickly become an important member of our Lymm Rugby Club management team.

Finally, just a word of caution ahead of next year’s accounts. As mentioned above, the remaining property owned by the Club was transferred to LRL in November 2018. The way that this is technically characterised is as a “donation”. So, in next year’s accounts LRL will have to record a donation received equivalent to the net book value of the assets being transferred – which will be in the order of £865,000! Other than this “anomaly” we expect the 2019 Accounts to show another broadly break even position. So, next year when you see LRL’ accounts showing a massive surplus (as they will), please don’t think we have struck oil under Pitch 1, we will only be “making ends meet” from an income and expenditure account – investing any surplus we create in our club – but will continue to present a challenging position from a cash flow perspective as our development project has continued to require further cash funding as we have progressed through to the point where we have the section 106 Agreement in place and an agreement from the RFU to build an AGP on Pitch 1 over the coming months – the first really tangible evidence of our considerable efforts and investment over the past 5 years.

We will continue to be asset rich yet cash poor for several years to come yet – we need you to continue to support our fund raising efforts, manage costs carefully and help in any way you can.’

Senior Rugby (Adam Fletcher)

Adam was unable at short notice to attend the meeting in person. Below is his report for the season:

Players used Front Row 10, Locks 5, Back Row 14, Backs 19. Total 43

League position 11th: Won 8, Drew 2, Lost 16

Positives:

  • The amount of youth promoted to the 1st team squad.

  • Character shown in the last weeks of the season and crucial wins against Vale of Lune (A), Alnwick (H) and Sandal (A).

  • Starter plays and 3 phase moves.

  • The squad continued to work hard even after the amount of crippling injuries we suffered.

  • The set piece improved significantly in the second half of the season. Areas of Concern:

  • Continuity in attack and resulting impact on scoring ability.

  • Tackling height and overall defence.

  • Conditioning.In summary, this was a very tough season for the 1st team in a tough league. We just managed to find enough quality to stay in the league and some of the younger boys need to take a lot of credit for that. Injuries played a huge part in the the difficulties encountered but can’t shoulder all the blame. We probably cruised into pre-season as a result of finishing 4th the previous yearLooking forward, there is a need to:

  • Work harder on strength and conditioning in pre-season as the way we want to play puts a lot of demand on our fitness.

  • Build a more competitive squad, the 2nd XV is vital to this. Training numbers have to improve as they were low last season. A competitive squad will breed a healthy squad.

  • Make sure we know when our U23s/students are available so we can integrate them into the senior teams on a Saturday.

M&J’s (Will Hind)

Highlights of the season are:

  • The Senior Colts won their League, the Cheshire Cup and the League cup which was great work.

  • The Junior Colts at the start of the season were looking a unsupported – but have now regained their strength and ended up winning the county plate

  • The U16 were also on the verge of folding and have merged with Ashton on Mersey which has proved very successful and have won some good silverware – they are looking strong for the next season

  • The Academy has been reinvigorated which focuses on 16, JC and SC and ensures a continuity of approach plus some overlap with the training and input from the senior team and coaching staff – the aim is for this to continue and try and ensure we get the pull through into senior rugby

  • We continue to field both a senior and junior colts teams unlike many of our contemporaries who in semi -pro clubs cannot manage this. Indeed one of the observations is that many clubs are loosing teams at older ages which is something that we absolutely do not see and should commend

  • Particular thanks go to John Case, for support on GMS and website, Guy Larkin for coaching co-ordinator, Paul Wardle for fixtures, Rick for hot dogs and food, Kerry Anderson and Derek Madeley for the Junior colts and both Stewart Williams and all from Ashton for the successful merger in u16 and of course Mr Simpson for the senior colts. Looking to the future the continued focus is to ensure fun across all ages and to drive retention. Also looking at how membership fees are set.

  • O’Neills have taken over as kit supplier which has worked very well and gave great support. We will be continuing with that for the next two years.

  • We are also going to have a big push on local schools. This will include a primary school festival in September.

Squash (Alan Wilkinson)

The 1st team had finished second the previous year which had resulted in promotion to the next league which has been a tough call with a lot of extra travelling. Unfortunately, the the team has finished second from bottom and hence been relegated. The 2nd team has finished just below mid-table.

Member numbers are fairly static but the Academy has been very popular and has some 15 juniors attending on Saturday mornings.

Alan thanked the team captains for their hard work and also Steve Turnbull who had done a number of repairs to the lighting and heating.

Touch Rugby (Jonny Cartwright)

The Touch section has enjoyed some  success over the last few months. At the recent touch World Cup in Malaysia Toby Philips played for the England men’s open team, Simon Ince and Paul Nolan both competing for the senior men’s teams.

James Anderson of the Junior Colts has also represented England Touch at U18 level.

The touch playing group is predominantly made up of members from all areas of the club that either wish to stay fit in the off season, no longer play contact rugby, or want to play rugby as a family/ father&son etc. On average there are 25 people at each session from a wider group of around 45 -50 currently competing in the Touch league organised by Manchester Chargers at Trafford Metrovick.

We are very excited about the development of the AGP and what this will provide for both the club and and the touch group. We are hopeful that this will increase our popularity further and give us the opportunity to play at the club all year round rather than have to use Birchwood and Partington pitches as in the past.

We just want to reiterate All members welcome to join in at the club from 7.30-8.30/9.00pm.

Hockey

No report

Election of Officers

President

The retiring President Dave Newton thanked everybody for all the support he had received during his 2 year tenure. He had enjoyed representing the Club and is proud to have held the position of President.

During his 2 year stint the development plans had not moved forward as quickly as he would have hoped but as we are at last in contract with the RFU for the new AGP the Club can now start thinking about Phase 2. On the plus side the Exec has made great strides in putting financial systems into place which will be beneficial to the future control and management of the Club.

Before moving to the announcement of the new President, Dave made a presentation to Jim Knowles. This is what he said.

‘As you all probably know Jim has decided to hang up his spade and has retired from the Executive. He has been Chairman of Grounds for many years now and has led the team largely responsible for creating and maintaining our excellent playing pitches.

‘Jim joined the Club in 1968 at about the same time as myself so I have known him personally for all of his 51 years at the Club. At the time he was 31 and I was only 17 so I thought of him as an old fart even then. He played for the 1st XV for quite a few seasons latterly as a very mobile hooker. Jim always kept himself very fit and continued to play for the lower teams for many years.

‘His major contributions to the well being of the Club have however been off the field. He has held most of the Committee positions since he first became an officer of the Club in 1973. He has been both President and Chairman on two occasions holding those positions for a total of 13 years. I don’t know how many years there have been when he has not sat on the Committee but I bet you can count them on one hand.

‘More importantly Jim is an out and out Clubman and has always done his very best for Lymm Rugby Club serving us all with integrity and loyalty and humour. Who can forget when he jumped on his tractor stark naked to appear in the 2003 Calendar. I don’t imagine there are many better in the world of rugby.

‘He is a tremendous ambassador and supports the 1st XV at home and away whenever he can. As President I have witnessed the warm welcome he receives from our opponents wherever we go.

‘Having given some thought on how to recognise Jim’s contribution which continues to be outstanding the Executive has decided to create a new position and Jim we would like to offer you the honour of being the very first Life President of Lymm Rugby Club.

‘This will be an honourable position and have no responsibility attached other than being a figurehead and ambassador for Lymm Rugby Club. It is more than justified and I do hope you will accept.

‘On behalf of the whole of the Club, I thank you for many years of service.’ Dave then presented Jim with a Life President club tie.

As Dave was at the end of his 2 year term of office he announced that the past-Presidents have nominated Neil Kelly to be the Club’s new President and this had been ratified by the Executive Committee.

Neil addressed the meeting by saying he was proud to accept the position having been associated with the club since 1975. The next few years is likely to be the most exciting and challenging period in the Club’s history and he is looking to galvanise the current membership and ensure we have the new Clubhouse that we want and can sustain. He encouraged all members to talk to him about their concerns and hopes for the Club.

Chairman

John Cartwright was re-elected as Chairman. Proposed by Simon Plumb, seconded by Steve Ashall.

Secretary

Neil Allen was not seeking re-election. Rick Johnson was elected as Secretary. Proposed by John Cartwright, seconded by Jim Knowles

Treasurer

Alan Gibson was not seeking re-election. Andy Leach was elected as Treasurer. Proposed by John Cartwright, seconded by Will Hind.

AOB

  • Jim Knowles noted that members are invited to take pieces of turf from Pitch 1 as mementos. Cost is a £10 donation to the club and should be done within the next 2 weeks before work starts on the AGP.

  • Simon Plumb reminded people about buying tickets for the Vaudeville event which has capacity for 600.

 

John Cartwright noted that a letter will be going out to neighbours informing them of the activity at the Club associated with the marquee events and the construction of the AGP.

With no further AOB, the meeting was closed by the Chairman

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